This post is for those who have allergic reactions to pollen and bee sting:
Mother Nature might have made us to be different from each other (and why not, who wants to live in a Stepford society), but gave us sources of various kinds to make sure we all benefit from her majestic creations the same way. So instead of using honey, we could use Aloe Vera and benefit from its active ingredients. And let’s not forget that these two components had been used interchangeably as far back as the Egyptians, to treat the same ailments (wounds, burns, and skin infections). Also, every time we think of Aloe, we remember our time spent vacationing on the sandy beaches by the ocean. There, as a rule of thumb, you would find on the nightstands in each room, a tiny or big (its size really doesn’t matter) bottle of aloe based “after sun” concoction used to soothe our bodies when we decide to peel ourselves off that pool/beach chair (or our eyes off the chiseled bodies of those lifeguards and surfers) and get back to the hotel. But enough daydreaming about the our vacation days, and on to the actual benefits of the Aloe Vera plant prepping our skin for the months to come.
- The skin improvement properties of aloe: the main compound that is responsible for the initiation of the healing process is glucomannan. This type of sugar stimulates the activity of fibroblasts (cells that are specialized for the skin’s regeneration process). It also improves the production of collagen. This is a very important factor for two things: the time it takes for the wound to heal, and the reduction of scarring tissue. Studies have reported that the healing process for wounds and burns decreased with the application of aloe gel on the affected area. They also report a decreased occurrence of scarring tissue with in the presence of the gel.
- Aloe Vera has antioxidant properties: the pure aloe gel contains vitamins E and C that aid in the process of skin repair by kick-starting the production of collagen. It also contains enzymes that help by neutralizing the free radicals from the sun’s UV rays.
- Aloe Vera has anti-aging properties: the inner layer of the Aloe leaf is 96% water and the other 4% is composed of 75 different ingredients, all of which help in the anti-aging process. This mechanism works by adding moisture to the skin’s layers and removes the superficial flakes that occur when the skin is too dry. Also, the enzymes that are a part of its anti-oxidant artillery, eat (or make other cells to do it for them) the dead skin cells and produce new healthy (and young) ones to replace them.
- Aloe Vera has anti-microbial properties: the other reason for aloe to be applied on injured skin, besides its soothing and healing properties, is due to its ability to fight germs that could potentially infect the wound and prolong the skin repair mechanism. Some of the active ingredients in those 4% are bactericides: they kill bacteria on contact, much like its counterpart – honey, and prevent new ones from forming by producing hydrogen peroxide. This peroxide, like with honey, creates a thin barrier that cleans and protects the affected area. Studies also show that the aloe gel has both anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
With this, our friends, we would like to encourage being different and trying different things. The soothing salve we introduce in this post is for all of us to share, but for those whose allergies prevent them to try the honey mask: feel special – we dug deep into the world of knowledge to bring you this beautiful gift of the Aloe Vera leaf.
Aloe Vera soothing and repairing salve
Makes 2 tsp
- 1 tsp of pure Aloe Vera gel* (we used the Lily of the Desert brand, but you can use whatever is available in your local health food store)
- 1 tsp of shea butter (or any butter/oil you feel comfortable to use)
What to do next:
- Use it as an oil-based serum: Mix the gel and the butter in a glass container.
- Wash your face your usual way, then apply the salve in a thin layer and follow with your regular moisturizing routine.
- Use it as an overnight mask: Wash your face (with your regular product), rinse with warm water (to open up your pores), pat it dry and apply a layer of the salve. Massage your face and you’re ready for your beauty sleep. In the morning follow with your regular skin care routine.
*Just make sure when you buy the Aloe Vera gel that the bottle label reads: inner fillet. This is where all the good things of the aloe leaf rest
Try it, talk about it and
Be happy, be beautiful